Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Songs… The New Waterboarding.

From the Peanut Gallery yesterday:

"No, Mommy!! Not another Christmas Song!! Not EVERY WEEK!!! TURN IT OFF!!!!"

I am not sure what’s up with Connor, but he apparently has quite the dislike of Christmas songs. It’s the NO MORE CHRISTMAS. MAKE IT STOP!!!  He is quite adamant that he does NOT want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Today we found Elfie swinging around the top of the newly put up and lighted Christmas tree.  Wonder if we could convince him to stay because I have no idea where the actual tree topper is...

And I am sure Elfie had quite a story to tell Santa about the Christmas Tree assembly.  How often do you think it is that someone puts together a tree and has extra pieces?  In particular extra branches without any obvious graping holes.  Unless you know where to look that is... Note to tree makers: my husband cannot "count" letters.  Particularly when the lowest branches begin with the letter "K"  It took me 2 minutes to convince him that F was indeed the letter before G...  

As it turns out he managed to skip the bottom ring of the tree (uh... more room for presents right!?!).  And as you go up the higher branches require less pieces.  So somewhere around F we ended up with more branches than spots to put them.  A theme that would continue on throughout each subsequent row.  And then to top it off he also tried to putt the "B" branches on top of the "G" branches.  Thankfully I noticed as I was fluffing the first one so we didn't have to pull a bazillion branches back off the tree.

Once the tree was up Kevin suggested that I pick up new LED lights for the tree vs. trying to figure out and fix the variety of old lights in various states of disrepair.  Luckily Walmart was open and had some LEDs to try out.  I actually thought they turned out pretty nice..  Now if only there was a way to make them flash...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ready, Set, Mail!

Elfie apparently thinks it is about time to get the Christmas cards out the door.  They have  been designed, printed, and even stuffed, sealed, addressed and stamped for a while now.  The boys and I will have to run by the postoffice to drop them in the mail later this week.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deck the Halls

Elfie apparently decided that the Christmas dishes needed to be at our fingertips vs. stashed in an obscure cabinet somewhere.

So he did a little dish re-arranging after the boys went to bed last night.  He replaced my white Italian dishes with my favorite blue snowman and the boys' IKEA dishes with the new snowman and Santa dishes that he brought for our North Pole Breakfast.

I think he is trying to tell us something...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thirst Quenched

Apparently spreading all this Christmas Magic really makes an elf thirsty...  Elfie must have helped himself to Kevin's Dr. Pepper last night!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Advent Books - Countdown to Christmas

Uh, huh... We definitely need to keep an eye on that elf.

Apparently while the boys were sleeping Elfie made his report to Santa and then came back, drug out and relocated one of the Christmas trees to the boys' room and wrapped up a whole pile of books to help the boys countdown to Christmas.

He then took up a new position in the branches of the tree to keep an eye on things today.

He left a note for the boys telling them that they could unwrap one book every night from now until Christmas.  And he already knows them well enough to know they could NEVER wait until tonight to open one so he left one unwrapped for them to read this morning.

And I was right, that elf definitely had plans for the new bookshelves.  He relocated all the books that were upstairs and replaced them with Christmas books.

After we read the Little Elf book Elfie left for us we read 3 others from the book shelf.

I don't know how he managed to get it all done in just one night - it must be the Christmas magic!  Because if I had to do it all myself I would have been up until 1:30 in the morning just wrapping all those books!  :)  Not to mention finding the tree, and hauling it all the way to the boys room.

And I am sooo surprised that he didn't wake the boys up as he banged around crashing into all kinds of things as he dragged the stand, the tree, and all those books in.  Not to mention moving the dresser to plug the tree in.  He even broke an ornament getting the tree in through the bathroom door.  It crashed on to the floor just inches away from Ryan and both of the boys slept right through all the commotion.  Daddy kept right on snoring, too.  Apparently mommy was the only one who heard a thing... :)

Gutter Bookshelves

I spent a couple of hours today and installed some gutter bookshelves in the boys' room.  I measured, measured again, checked the level, checked the level again, drilled, crossed my fingers, held my breath and let it out with a sigh of relief when it was all said and done.   I think everyone thought I was crazy - gutters?!?  But I think they turned out really well.  And the boys were really excited about the new addition.  They both called out their favorites and quickly picked out books for us to read.

The challenge I suspect will be getting them to pick just one, and getting them to put them back when they are done.... And not playing with the books when they are supposed to be sleeping... And.. And... And... And whose bright idea was this??  :)

Not to mention the fact that I think we had better keep an eye on that Elf.  I could have sworn he had a gleam in his eye at the mention of the bookshelves...

Friday, November 25, 2011

North Pole Breakfast - Elf on the Shelf Arrives!

While the boys were snuggled in their beds, the elves were busy downstairs.

Elfie our Elf on the shelf arrived bringing with him a note just for us, his book, cuddly elves for the boys, and snowman donuts all the way from the North Pole.

He decked out our table for a very special North Pole Snowman Breakfast.

He made special snowman donuts just for the boys...

Unfortunately he didn't think about how much warmer it is here in Texas, and the snowmen started to melt!

When the boys woke up this morning and headed downstairs they found Elfie and his special North Pole Breakfast.

They were excited to see what all Elfie had brought.

They listened to Elfie's note, and we read the Elf on the Shelf book to hear what Elfie was doing here.

Afterwards we dug into the snowman donuts.

Elfie's breakfast got a full 4 thumbs up!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Treats

Gobble, Gobble!  Happy Thanksgiving!

I had planned to make a sweet potatoe dish for Thanksgivig similiar to the one I made last year. But someone else called dibbs on it so I turned to plan B - turkey making.

And I have to admit, I think they turned out pertty cute!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A fish story...

Ryan caught a fish.

And Kevin told Ryan that they would keep it, clean it, and eat it.

And then Kevin fed Ryan's fish to this fish.  As bait...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Demented Turkeys?

Remember the turkey pancakes?  And how ecstatically happy I was that they came out actually looking like... well... turkeys?  That's because of times like these.  Times when I envision the cutest little turkeys.  And end up with... well... these...

For the record I decided this second one looked like one of the house elves in Harry Potter. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Making a List... Checking it Twice...

I can check making Christmas cards off my list of things to do.  And they are so stinkin' cute!  Not only that... I even have Chstimas stamps already.  Wrong, so wrong...  I know.

Now if only the laundry pile wasn't taller than I am and I had little magic elves that would wash the heaping pile of dishes that have over flowed the dishwasher or are waiting to be hand washed... and... and... and....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Turkey Pancakes

I have been admiring Jenni's pancake art for a while now and keep saying I am going to have to give it a try some day... and I finally did.  :)

And I have to admit, I don't think they turned out half bad!  Though there was definitely some trial and error along the way.... First the pancake mix I picked up was not exactly what I intended to get.  I intended to get plain every day pancake mix, just add water.  I ended up with some whole grain wheat, add milk and an egg (which I didn't have because while I was at the store Kevin was visiting Uncle Randy and the last two times he has been over there he has come home with fresh eggs from Randy's chickens.  So I specifically put the eggs I had picked up at the store back.  So I had to run to the store.)  And then the "whole grain" part stopped up the bottle instantly.  I cut the tip off the bottle to make it a bit bigger to see if I could get it to work that way and just succeeded in making a mess.  After a few minutes I came to my senses and opted to toss the whole batch as it was unlikely that I would ever get it to work, and I sincerely doubted the boys would be thrilled to find "seeds!" in their pancakes.  So I scoured the pantry and grabbed the only other choice that didn't require a return trip to the store - an all purpose baking mix. 

After locating my bottles, and whipping up the batter I started looking for food coloring.  I had bought some recently, but couldn't find it for the life of me.  So single color pancakes it was (in theory..).

Unlike Jenni's carefully planned out pancakes, which often include cute sketches, I hadn't thought about what I was going to do at all until I started "drawing on the pan" - improvising on the fly.  Or at least the best I could given every second or two the bottle was jammed once again (note to self: forget hand whisking - pull out the mixer next time - NO LUMPS!!)  So I drew the outlines and then fired up both burners on my stove to start them cooking.

And when the outside puffed out and started bubbling I quickly filled in the outlines and then watched them cook.  At this point I was fairly certain that it would be a miracle if they came out resembling anything like the turkeys I had envisioned...

After having taken a couple of pictures, and deciding that based on the amount of bubbling they must be done, I flipped them over.

And discovered just how unevenly my two burner griddle pan works... None the less I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the blobs I had created did actually resemble a turkey. 

Though I realized as I began assembling that I had completely forgotten feet.  And the little hangy thing-a-majig.

So I headed back to the griddle to make some.

I had also planned to add a piece of candy for an eye, but I was so ecstatic with the results thus far that I totally forgot and called everyone in the house to COME.AND.ADMIRE.NOW!  :)

At which time the boys proceeded to disassemble and devour them.

"Can I eat it now???"

Needless to say I will be making art pancakes again.  Maybe a snowman or reindeer for a special Christmas breakfast??

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cars Lunch

While Ryan was glued to the tv watching Cars 2 for the upteenth million time since it came out on DVD two weeks ago I started making lunch.

Nothing special... Just sandwiches.  "Baby sandwiches" as the boys would call them.  I began making them as Lightening McQueen and Francesco Bernoilli raced across the finish line in the background.  And I remembered that somewhere in the heap of stuff yet to be put up that there were checkered flag picks that I picked up some time ago for something another.

So I found them.  And embellished the mini sandwiches.  Which then began multiplying.

And inviting friends to come along... Reminding them to get gussied up, too....

And before I knew it I had a whole plate full.  Complete with french onion dip for dipping, too.

And another satisfied customer chomping at the bit to dig in...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkins for Christmas?

Would it be wrong to consider using a picture of the kids with pumpkins as my Christmas card   photo?

Yeah... I figured...

And, yes, I am already thinking about Christmas.  I am also well aware that it's not even Thanksgiving yet.  But there are simply not enough hours in the day or days in the week.  And normally I whine and complain about how early the stores put out Christmas, but come on Walmart!  It's November!!  Where are the Christmas books?!?!  

I have been thinking about what I might want to do for a Christmas advent this year.  The boys are old enough to be really excited about it so I have been stocking up on books, movies, and thinking about fun activities, food (snowman pancakes!?!), and even some awesome road trips (festival of lights, polar express train).  Not to mention breaking out the elf on shelf and having him get up to some hijinks (I see that elf microphone in our future!)

It's still a few more weeks!  It's ONLY a few more weeks!  :)  Are you ready yet?

PS.  I don't know how I missed Prep and Landing on t.v., but I am so excited about the movie!  And just a tad bit miffed that I have to wait until November 22nd to see it!!  I am also excited to see the new Arthur Christmas release coming out in a few weeks, too.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lightening McQueen and TOW Mater

The boys had been looking forward to Halloween for weeks.  Ryan said from the start that he wanted to be Lightening McQueen.  Connor vacillated from Nemo, to Mater, to Sheldon (Nemo), to Mater and even Holley (Cars2).  As it has been so long since the Nemo movie came out the stores have all but stopped carrying anything Nemo - even Disney.  So I was relieved when we went into the store and he picked out Mater not once, but twice in a row. 

Needless to say they were super excited when Halloween finally rolled around.  They donned their costumes and headed off to school for the costume parade.  That afternoon they had their Halloween party.  I came by the for the party and then took the boys with me when it was over.  We stopped by work, wished folks a Happy Halloween, and shared some of our Halloween treats.  After an early dinner and some play time at their favorite Chick-a-lay we headed home to put our costumes on once again and get the trick or treating started.

They were both so excited to get started.  They dashed up to the door, with Ryan in the lead, and Connor following behind already shouting “TRICK OR TREAT!!”  After a little scuffle over who was going to ring the doorbell (both of them, twice.) it was finally time.  As soon as Connor saw someone at the door he resumed his former shouts of Trick or Treat while Ryan stayed  silent, but quickly offered up his bag for treats.  And that’s pretty much how it went for the rest of the night. 

After they got candy we reminded the boys to say “Thank You!  Happy Halloween.”  In all the trick or treating excitement Connor began saying “Happy Trick or Treat” as he walked up to the door.  Connor also tried some sly candy snagging tricks – for the people who wanted to put something in his basket directly he started pulling the basket away and as they would bend over to try to get it into his basket he would reach into the candy dish instead.  I don’t think it was intentional, but we got quite a laugh out of it.  And for the people without the bowl when they would try to put something in his basket he would tell them which 1 he wanted.  At one house the guy tried to give Connor a purple pixie stick and 2 or 3 other pieces of candy, but Connor was quite adamant “Just the purple one!” and wouldn’t let him put anything except the pixie stick in his bucket.  He didn’t seem to quite grasp the concept that it was okay if they handed him more than one, but if they let him pick that he should just get one.  Connor enforced the 1 candy rule either way.  Ryan had no such qualms.  If they told him to take a handful they didn’t have to tell him twice.  :)


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